Breast Cancer Robocalls May Be Taking Advantage of Your Soft Spot
There are billions of robocalls made annually, so making a distinction between legitimate and fraudulent ones is becoming rather challenging. Most people probably learned by now to think twice before engaging with a bot that offers you a too-good-to-be-true financial opportunity.
That’s why there’s a significant increase in robocall scams that play on people’s humane side instead of their greed. Robocallers shifted their focus on charity scams with donations for breast cancer being one of the most popular ones. The cause is not surprising since it’s a common yet dangerous and devastating illness.
Since many people know someone who’s been affected by breast cancer, we are all aware of how painful this battle can be and that breast cancer patients and survivors need all the help they can get. The truth is that we have to be careful which charities we donate money to if we really want to help. Precaution is especially necessary if a particular charity uses robocalls to reach out to donors.
Why Would Charities Use Robocalls?
As annoying as they are, robocalls are an excellent tool to spread your message to a large number of people in a short time. While texts and emails can do the same thing, robocalls can provide instant confirmation that the message has been received.
Apart from being efficient, robocalls are cost-effective as well. Call centers tend to be somewhat demanding endeavors in terms of logistics, and they are not cheap either. Communication through robocalls proved to be a much more affordable way to contact people directly.
Honest charities struggle to raise funds for noble causes, like breast cancer issues, so in the end, every dollar matters. The less they spend on organizing the project, the more they’ll be able to give to the ones that need help.
Robocalls are a perfect solution because they save time and money while providing exceptional results. Charities are not the only legitimate organizations that use robocalls to get through to people or make public announcements. You probably received robocalls from the following institutions as well:
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) because it uses robocalls as tax-deadline reminders
- Political parties because robocalls are an easy way to present their candidate’s program to a significant number of voters and call them to vote
- Pharmacies and physicians because they make robocalls to remind you of an appointment or that your prescription is ready
- Educational institutions because automated calls are an efficient way to announce closures or changes in opening times
Fraudulent Breast Cancer Robocalls
Since robocalls are rather convenient, it was only a matter of time when fraudsters would begin to take advantage of them. Setting up a robocall scam is relatively easy, with all the technology available out there.
Charities are especially popular among scammers because they can cast a wide net and wait for the soft-hearted and gullible victims to get caught in it. Robocallers tend to use issues that affect a lot of people as a hook. With breast cancer being such a frequent illness, it became one of the top fake causes for fraudsters.
Some of the common causes that fake breast cancer charities use are:
- Donating for breast cancer survivors
- Helping breast cancer research
- Giving to women who are struggling financially during or after the breast cancer treatment
- Assisting families of women who are suffering from or died of breast cancer
With breast cancer robocall scams, the fraudsters are counting on the fact that most people know or have known someone who fought the battle with this difficult disease. The issue is sensitive and personal, which makes such robocalls even more malicious.
How to Recognize Breast Cancer Robocall Scams?
Recognizing a charity robocall scam is not easy. If the cause is personal to you in any way, you will be even more biased and unable to observe things objectively. In case you receive a call from an organization that collects donation for breast cancer issues, pay attention to the following:
- Is it a robocall?
- Can you check the organization online?
- Do they have a valid Form 990?
- Are they asking for an instant donation?
Is It a Robocall?
The first suspicious thing is the robocall itself. Although it’s not uncommon for charities to make automated calls, they usually use it to invite you to a fund-raiser or call you to visit their website or offices.
Some charities will ask for donations to be made during robocalls, but that is more likely to happen if the cause is something urgent, like helping those affected by natural disasters. Breast cancer robocalls would be more about raising awareness, followed by instructions on how to donate money.
Most reputable and relevant charities use volunteers to contact potential donors, so if you can’t talk to a real person, the call is probably fraudulent.
Can You Check the Organization Online?
Online presence is essential in the 21st century, so if the organization calling for donations does not have a website, you can be sure that something is fishy. A proper breast cancer charity would have a user-friendly internet presentation that allows the visitor to double-check all the information about the organization, the good work that they are doing, and the financial aspect of their projects.
If you can’t find the website or if it doesn’t provide enough information, you are most likely dealing with phone scammers that have no intention of passing the collections to those affected by breast cancer.
Do They Have a Valid Form 990?
The IRS requires all charities and non-profit organizations to file a Form 990, which serves as the charity’s financial ID. Anyone can check the Form 990 because it’s available online, and the procedure is similar to the one you use to check businesses.
If the breast cancer charity in question does not have a Form 990 available, you can rest assured it doesn’t exist, or it hasn’t been registered in the States. What’s more important is that such an organization is not allowed to raise money or pass it to other entities.
Are They Asking for an Instant Donation?
If a breast cancer charity asks you to give away your financial details to make an instant donation, then something is not right. They are supposed to explain how to make a donation and allow you to think about it, verify all the information, and transfer money to the account when you are ready.
Robocall scammers tend to present the matter as urgent, requesting an immediate response. If the caller is too pushy or they demand your bank account details on the spot, just hang up because every legitimate organization would know better than to ask for such sensitive data to be passed over the phone.
Common Tricks That the Breast Cancer Robocallers Use
Robocallers use several sneaky tricks to make their calls appear convincing. They are becoming pretty good at them because up to $10 billion is lost on robocall scams annually in the States alone.
Famous tricks that phone scammers rely on are:
- Posing as legitimate and well-known organizations
Spoofing is the oldest trick in the book. Robocallers hide their real number and make it appear as a local or official phone number to get you to answer your phone. People are more inclined to pick up if they think that a local charity or a neighbor is calling.
Some scammers go as far as to imitate a phone number of famous breast cancer charities. This allows them to establish initial contact and gain the trust of the potential victim. You should be aware that spoofing a number is not hard at all, especially with internet-based phones that all robocallers use.
Posing as Well-Known Organizations
Robocallers tend to hide behind respectable organizations that are famous for their successful charity work. If the name of the organization sounds familiar, people will more likely trust the caller and make a donation.
The point is that scammers can come prepared, so you might not be a random pick. If you made donations to a specific breast cancer charity before, they might use that fact to pose as an organization that you trust.
How to Handle Robocalls From Fake Breast Cancer Charities?
The best course of action is not to answer the phone, but with spoofing, this may not be possible. It’s essential to follow this advice if you realize that you are on a suspicious robocall regarding breast cancer:
- Don’t talk to the caller
- Don’t follow the caller’s instructions
- Don’t reveal personal information
Don’t Talk to the Caller
In case you do answer a robocall, hang up as soon as you realize that you are conversing with a machine. Some robocalls are made just to confirm that the number is active and that there is a real person on the other end.
Robocallers can sell valid phone numbers for a lot of money to other fraudsters, so if you manage to stay silent, the caller may not be able to verify that you are human. This can potentially take you off the calling list.
If you do say something, make sure it’s not the word yes because it can be recorded and used to authorize deals and transactions you know nothing about.
Don’t Follow Instructions
If an alleged breast cancer foundation calls you and a recorded message prompts you to press a number to talk to a representative—just hang up. This is not the M.O. of a real charity, but classic robocall harassment.
Pressing numbers, calling back numbers provided on a robocall, or doing any other actions the caller suggests are only meant to verify that you are a real person and that you are eligible for more calls.
Don’t Reveal Personal Information
No matter how convincing the caller sounds, don’t give away any sensitive details over the phone. The caller may know a lot about you, but that’s not difficult to find out with social media and Google.
People are more likely to reveal their information to callers who know things like:
- Where they work
- What the names of their family members are
- What charity they donated to
If you would like to make a donation to a breast cancer foundation, go online, check the organization, and donate through proper channels.
How to Report Breast Cancer Robocall Scams?
Many legitimate institutions and businesses all over the world suffer huge losses because of the robocall pandemics. Respectable and well-intended organizations cannot get through to people because robocalls make us wary of answering calls from unknown or suspicious numbers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) joined forces with phone carriers and law-enforcers to fight against robocalls. The FCC guide to robocalls states that everyone should report robocalls because it will contribute to putting an end to this harassment.
If you receive a robocall, report it to:
You should also register your phone number on the National Do Not Call List. It should prevent telemarketers from calling you. Fraudulent organizations don’t care about the List, but at least you’ll know that a robocall that got through is scam-related. You can find further reading on the Do Not Call List in these useful articles:
How to Stop Breast Cancer Robocalls?
Reporting robocalls may be crucial for tracking down and prosecuting fraudsters, but it won’t block spam calls. So, how to stop robocalls? You will need some help from technology experts.
All phone carriers in the U.S. offer robocall blockers that are getting better in recognizing and blocking spam calls before they come down to you. Additional protection comes in the form of third-party apps that screen your calls and stop robocalls at the source.
You should know that the above is valid only for mobile phones and digital home phones. Traditional landlines are difficult to protect, although there are some services that you could try out. There are also call-blocking devices that you can add to your home phone if robocallers are persistent.
In case you are struggling with robocall harassment, check out the robocall-blocking options in the table below.
|Mobile Phone||Digital Home Phone||Traditional Landline|
|Phone Carrier Robocall Blockers||Available||Available|
Third-Party Apps for Spam-Blocking
|Not available||Not available|
Can DoNotPay Help With Breast Cancer Robocall Harassment?
DoNotPay can do what no robocall blocker can—it can help you get some money from robocallers! It can be up to $3,000. If a robocall fraudster has the audacity to scam people that are willing to help those affected by breast cancer, they deserve something worse than just being prosecuted. They deserve public shame, and they deserve to pay.
That is why you have to try RoboRevenge from DoNotPay. The whole process is safe and straightforward. Here’s what you need to do:
- Log on DoNotPay in your web browser or iOS app as soon as you get that breast cancer robocall
- Choose RoboRevenge
- Generate a free virtual credit card
- Reveal the card details to the caller
- Wait for them to attempt to charge you because it will allow DoNotPay to obtain their info
- File a robocall lawsuit with the material provided by DoNotPay and get up to $3,000
The DoNotPay virtual credit card is not connected to real funding sources, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your money or your data. The card is actually a virtual card number that only looks valid to the caller because it has all the characteristics of a paying card.
You can check the table below to learn more about the DoNotPay virtual credit card.
DoNotPay Virtual Credit Card
|Real Credit Card|
|Not linked to a funding source|
Linked to a bank account
No personal information stored on the card
|Personal information stored on the card|
|Transactions not possible|
Available for transactions
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay can do a lot of things. If you are struggling with paying bills, contesting a speeding ticket, or getting an appointment at the DMV, this fantastic app can come to your rescue. Even if you would just like to lower your bills, DoNotPay can be of assistance. The app uses AI to help people who can’t get proper legal advice.
- Getting refunds for delayed or canceled flights
- Dealing with issues with credit cards
- Canceling subscriptions or memberships
- Disputing traffic tickets
- Getting revenge on other robocalls
- Helping you sue people and companies in small claims court
- Scheduling a DMV appointment fast and easy
- Jumping the phone queue when getting in touch with customer service reps
- Fighting speeding tickets
- Contesting parking tickets
- Dealing with bills you are unable to pay